Please see my new work in National Geographic Magazine which will be published in the August, 2017 issue of the magazine about an elephant sanctuary in Northern Kenya. What makes it so special is that it is owned and operated by the indigenous Samburu community. It was a privilege to be allowed into this sacred place. In a world where we often focus only on the things that divide us, it’s important also to talk about the solutions and a way forward. The indigenous people living side by side to the wildlife hold the keys to saving what is left. Please considering visiting Kenya or even contributing to the sanctuary. Link is at end of this story.
For photographer Ami Vitale, the pivotal moment occurred in Guinea-Bissau.
It was the start of her career and she was visiting her sister in the Peace Corp. Vitale expected Africa to be filled with war, famine, plague or the other extreme, exotic safaris.
Living in West Africa for six months showed her not only “how the majority of people on the planet live their day-to-day life,” but that people were not as hopeless as the newspapers portrayed. There was “a great deal of joy there.”
It is a revelation that has guided Vitale through 80 countries and a 13-year career.
Her original desire to take “beautiful pictures” was transformed into a desire to do justice to people and their stories. As a photographer Vitale’s focus has centered on issues surrounding women, poverty and health. The common denominator to all of her stories, she realized, is nature, specifically climate change. And it’s women who bare the brunt of those changes.
But when a woman is offered the tools to improve her situation, she runs with the opportunity. She transforms communities. “It’s a ripple effect,” says Vitale.
It’s the desire to see change that led Ami Vitale to join Ripple Effect Images, a photography organization started by Annie Griffiths that shares imagery with other changemakers.
“We are telling the stories that are so important and get lost in the headlines,” says Vitale. “They are the key to connecting things and allowing people to get engaged and make a difference.”]
I’m looking forward to teaching a multimedia workshop at the Santa Fe workshops from February 17-23, 2013. This week long workshop will be intense and challenging but ultimately very rewarding. I will be exploring how to make the jump from stills to video and will focus on helping the students tell more compelling visual stories using video, audio and still imagery. I will also delve into the process of getting work published from first crafting the initial proposal, finding a storyline, gaining access to subjects and finally editing the work into a cohesive story. Participants will be expected to document a short story and edit it together during the week. I will also talk about the business itself and address issues like writing proposals, understanding copyright, contracts and model releases. This is a workshop about producing real reportage, getting honest feedback, and ultimately how to get work published.
Nikon recently interviewed me for their Nikon Professional Services blog. Here is an excerpt.
Traveling the world and moving from one locale to the next, “clicking” pictures of beautiful places and lovely people. You may ask yourself: “How hard can it be?” Let me tell you from experience: it’s a tough job if you are serious about it, and you have to be serious about it if you want to make a living at it. The truth is, very little “clicking” happens. That is about ten percent of the job. The rest is sheer hard work, planning, researching, editing, negotiating and finding unique ways to tell stories. The trick is to get access to places that no one else can get to, and the secret to this is to know your subject better than anyone else. So my advice to those who dream about this is to find a story close to you – maybe even in your backyard – and make it yours. You don’t need to travel abroad. What you do need to do, however, is tell a story better than anyone else can, using your own unique perspective. If you find your own story and show complete and utter dedication, then you will find a way to carve out a career.
To read more,